Sagicor puts talent on show
Sagicor's Got Talent, a competition aimed at showcasing and developing Sagicor Group Jamaica team members, was held at the Wolmer's Boys' School Auditorium in Kingston recently.
Coretta Foster, vice-president of group human resources — Sagicor Group Jamaica, said that Sagicor's Got Talent is one of the ways the company celebrates its diverse and creative team members, while simultaneously contributing to charity.
"This competition is one of the main events in our Showcasing Talent and Recognising Staff (STARS) week, because it consistently unearths the many gifts and talents that our team members have, and celebrates them," she said.
"This concert also furthers Sagicor's vision of improving the lives of those in our communities, as all the proceeds from this concert will be donated to this year's STARS week charities — the Santa Cruz Infirmary, Kingdom Kids, and the Cure and Conquer Foundation."
After an evening of entertaining and fiercely competitive performances, two females walked away as joint winners and recipients of $100,000 each.
Avia Aiken-Brown, a production support officer from Sagicor Investments, delivered a soul-stirring rendition of Beyoncé's Listen, while Candiece Knight, a public relations and corporate social responsibility officer from the group marketing department, performed an original dramatic monologue entitled For Better or For Worse.
Both expressed pleasant surprise at the victory.
"It's an amazing feeling," Knight said. "I've always considered myself to be more of a writer than a performer, so I wasn't sure how well my performance would stand up on stage next to the amazing singers, actresses, and dancers here at Sagicor, especially with the great Glen "Titus" Campbell on the panel of judges. I entered just for fun, but I ended up learning so much and meeting so many great people in the process."
Aiken-Brown shared that while she has always been singing, it was her first time performing competitively as a solo act.
"It's an honour to be selected as one of the winners from such a talented group of persons," she said. "This win has given me the licence to pursue my passion unapologetically going forward. Music is an outlet, gift, and passion of mine and this competition just makes me more excited about my musical future."
Joining veteran theatre practitioner Glen Campbell on the judging panel were Jody-Kay James, music educator and winner of Digicel's Rising Stars 2015, and Miss Jamaica World 2015 Dr Sanneta Myrie, who is also a trained dancer and actress.
Both winners thanked theatre practitioner and television personality Neisha-Yen Jones, who provided coaching as they prepared for the event, for helping to polish their pieces for the contest, and congratulated the nine other finalists who participated in the concert.
Nathan McCarthy, a processing assistant from Sagicor Bank, was announced as first runner-up for his original song Sagicor is Flying High, while Aundre Harris, a Sagicor Life financial advisor from the Holborn branch, placed third after delivering a rousing medley of local and international love songs. They received $75,000 and $50,000, respectively.